Thank you, Chairwoman Lowey.
I want to recognize Chairman Quigley and Ranking Member Graves for their work on putting this Financial Services bill together.
I also want to thank Tom for his service in the House and on this Committee, as well as his work on the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress.
The bill before us today includes many priorities for Members on both sides of the aisle, such as support for small businesses, drug control programs, and funding for vital counter-terrorism and financial intelligence efforts.
However, I am concerned that there are several controversial items that:
- Prohibit funds for the border wall;
- Interfere with efforts to improve the function of our markets and provide capital to small businesses; and
- Limit educational opportunities for low income students in the District of Columbia.
It is also disappointing that the bill does not include a long-standing pro-life provision regarding the use of D.C. local funds.
Additionally, there is an excessive level of spending in the bill. With the budget deficit for the current year expected to reach $3.7 trillion, we should look for efficiencies in government activities, not increase funding for them, as this bill does.
The bill includes more than $67 billion in emergency infrastructure spending – almost three times the amount of the entire base bill. This is supposed to be an annual appropriations measure, not a long-term economic stimulus bill.
I would also like to point out that it seems short-sighted to provide billions of dollars to build and renovate federal buildings and courthouses, while many of them sit vacant or below capacity as employees are teleworking and social distancing.
We should use this opportunity to evaluate this experience and see how teleworking can be used to reduce costs and improve federal workforce productivity going forward.
I appreciate that Chairwoman Lowey is leading the Committee to complete the fiscal year 2021 appropriations process during this unprecedented time.
However, in order for our work to be meaningful and produce bills that can be signed into law, many issues are going to have to be addressed.
I look forward to continuing to work together to improve this bill as the process moves forward.
In closing, I would like to thank all of the subcommittee Members and the staff.
Thank you, Madam Chair, I yield back.
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